Have you ever heard about Cerebral Aneurysm? Do you know anyone that has suffered one? You might answer yes for one or both but do you really know what it is? Let’s help you with that. A Cerebral Aneurysm, also called a Brain Aneurysm or an Intracranial Aneurysm is a ballooning arising from a weakened area in the wall of a blood vessel in the brain. If the Cerebral Aneurysm expands and the blood vessel wall becomes too thin, the Aneurysm will rupture and bleed into the space around the brain. This event is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and may cause a hemorrhagic stroke.
Some Cerebral Aneurysms, particularly the ones that are very small, do not bleed or cause other problems. These types of Aneurysms are usually detected during imaging tests for other medical conditions. Cerebral Aneurysms can occur in anyone and at any age. They are most common in adults between the ages of 30 and 60 and are more common in women than in men. People with certain inherited disorders are also at higher risk. However, Cerebral Aneurysms can occur anywhere in the brain, but most form in the major arteries along the base of the skull.
Some Aneurysms are symptomatic because they press on adjacent structures, such as nerves to the eye. They can cause visual loss or diminished eye movements, even if the aneurysm has not ruptured.
But, how to identify a Cerebral Aneurysm? The symptoms of an unruptured Brain Aneurysm include:
- Eye pain
- Vision changes
- Diminished eye movement
You should know the presence of a Cerebral Aneurysm may not be known until it ruptures. Most Brain Aneurysms have no symptoms and are small in size. Occasionally there may be symptoms that happen before a rupture due to a small amount of blood that may leak. This is called "sentinel hemorrhage" into the brain.
Now, how does it feel when a Cerebral Aneurysm ruptures? When an Aneurysm ruptures or bursts, patients always experience a sudden and extremely severe headache described as the worst of their lives and some other symptoms such as:
- Double vision
- Stiff neck
- Sensitivity to light
- Loss of consciousness
- Cardiac arrest
You may be wondering why this happens. Cerebral Aneurysms form when the walls of the arteries in the brain become thin and weaken. Aneurysms typically form at branch points in arteries because these sections are the weakest. Occasionally, Cerebral Aneurysms may be present from birth, usually resulting from an abnormality in an artery wall. However, a Brain Aneurysm is often discovered after it has ruptured or by chance during a diagnostic exam, for example: a computed tomography (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or angiography.
And what about the treatment? Cerebral Aneurysms are treated using one or more of the following methods, depending on the location and size of the Aneurysm and whether or not it has ruptured, as well as the individual patient’s needs. Some of the treatments for Cerebral Aneurysms are: microsurgical clipping, endovascular coiling, flow diversion with stents, artery occlusion and bypass and observation when needed. Not all Cerebral Aneurysms require treatment. However, it’s important to highlight treatments for unruptured Cerebral Aneurysms that have not shown symptoms have some potentially serious complications and should be carefully weighed against the predicted rupture risk.
Do you need treatment for an Aneurysm? Dr. José Valerio among its Neurosurgery services treats Cerebral Aneurysms. Dr. José Valerio is an award winner and experienced Neurosurgeon. All of his services for Neurosurgery and spine procedures are offered with the promise of making every part of our process as simple as pain-free as possible. Get to know all the services by Dr. Valerio clicking here.
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